"I support Sen. Gardner". "We're looking at it".
The federal ban that puts marijuana on the same level as LSD and heroin has created a conflict with more than two dozen states that have legalized pot in some form.
In January, Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo assuring state-regulated marijuana dealers that federal prosecutors would leave them alone if they followed state regulations meant to keep pot out of the hands of kids and money out of the hands of drug cartels. "We hope Congress will approve the STATES Act this session and then begin to work towards descheduling marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act entirely".
"It's a really elegant solution", said Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, an advocacy group for hundreds of marijuana farmers, business owners and patients in the state. "Our bill does not legalize marijuana".More news: Emily Weinman Tells Her Side of Story About Jersey Cop Beach Beating
Current restrictions have stopped lenders from working with marijuana businesses, with investors also steering clear of legal weed start-ups.
Nine states have legalized recreational marijuana and another 20 have legalized the drug for medical use.
Gardner and Warren, both supporters of marijuana legalization by states, developed the bill in response to Sessions' action.
Kevin Sabet, the founder of New Jersey Responsible Approaches to Marijuana Policy, which opposes legalization, said the "perceived" benefits of permitting recreational use would be outweighed by the negative consequences. "I think it's the attorney general who gave us the impetus to bring our colleagues together to change the law in this area", Warren told Rolling Stone. Tony Dean, the bill's sponsor in the upper house.
But many marijuana rights' activists praised the STATES Act for its social justice components. Trump could easily decide, once he's reviewed the proposed law more closely, that he doesn't want to support it after all, especially if doing so might threaten his standing with the people who helped elect him.
Despite harsh differences on trade and Russia, President Donald Trump may find the atmosphere at this weekend's Group of Seven meeting pretty mellow. However, with Republicans in control of Congress and Trump in the White House, legislation that leaves marijuana legalization up to the states has the best chance of gaining traction - and furthering the divide between the president and his attorney general.